Barneys pens deal to sell assets to Authentic Brands

NEW YORK (AP) — Luxury chain Barneys New York has penned a deal to sell its assets for $271.4 million to Authentic Brands Group, a licensing company that owns such brands as Nine West and Aeropostale, and investment bank B. Riley Financial Inc., according to court documents filed late Wednesday.

The deal is characterized as a “stalking horse purchase agreement,” an initial starting bid offer for the bankrupt company’s assets from an interested buyer chosen by Barneys. The goal is to avoid low bids as part of a court auction.

Barneys can conduct an auction until Oct. 24. If there are no further bids, Barneys will pursue the agreement with Authentic Brands and B. Riley. All seven Barneys stores would likely close, according to the court papers.

Barneys New York filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in August, the latest retailer to buckle as shoppers move online. The chain also was struggling with escalating annual rents, particularly at its crown jewel store on Manhattan’s Madison Avenue. Barney’s Manhattan landlord doubled the rent to nearly $30 million this year.

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Barneys, controlled by New York hedge fund Perry Capital, listed more than $100 million in debt and more than $100 million in assets in its bankruptcy filing in the Southern District of New York.

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